Single parents are paying significantly higher premiums to add their children to their health insurance policies.
New research by CHOICE found single parents were often facing increases of 60 to 70 per cent to switch to a family policy.
In comparison, the consumer group found couples wanting to add children to their policy only saw premium increases of 5 to 10 per cent or, in some cases, nothing at all.
“It’s unfair that single parents pay significantly more than couples to add a dependent to their policy,” CHOICE health insurance expert Mark Blades said.
“If an insurer is happy to add a child to a couple’s policy for free, they should do the same for single parents.”
Here were the worst culprits and the providers that offered single parents a fairer deal.
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Worst health insurance
CHOICE found these were the worst health insurance providers for single-parent families, charging them the same price as two-parent families:
St Luke’s Health (across all policies)
Reserve Bank (Gold)
Hunter Health (no policies for single parents specifically, meaning parents have to pay for a family policy)
NIB-brand funds - NIB, AAMI, ING, Priceline, Suncorp, Real and Seniors (charge single parents more than couples for Gold Hospital cover policies. This means it costs you more to add a child than an adult to your Single policy.)
Best health insurance
These were the policies that penalised single parents the least, however, the premium increases were still fairly steep:
Medibank Bronze Plus Assured with excess at $500 or $750. Single parents pay a 33-43 per cent premium increase compared to a singles policy
Navy Health Gold, Silver Plus and Bronze Plus policies charge 40 per cent extra on top of standard singles cover
HCI Gold charges a 40 per cent premium increase for single parents.
While these policies could be worth considering for single parents, Blades said it was also important to ensure the policy suited your needs.